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Loyalsock fills school board vacancy, updates bus schedule change proposal

The Loyalsock Township School Board approved Hal Gee to fill the seat of board member John Raymond who had resigned, effective April 8. Gee will now be sworn in by a member of the judiciary prior to the next meeting, May 12.

Because Raymond had served as board vice-president, the board approved board member Melvin Wentzel to fill that position.

Stacey Patchett had also interviewed for Raymond’s seat.

In other business at the special meeting held recently, the board approved a request from Michelle Bartley, Loyalsock’s Odyssey of the Mind coordinator, for a contribution of one-third of the total expenditures for student participation in the World Finals Odyssey of the Mind Competition. The district’s contribution is not to exceed $5,000. Students will fund-raise for the remaining amount. The World Final Competition will be held in Orlando tentatively from June 9 through June 14.

During the meeting, Gerald McLaughlin, district superintendent, told board members that topics at next week’s meeting will include the 2021-22 budget and a continuation of the discussion on the revisions to the starting and dismissal times at the district’s schools.

At an open meeting last month, the administration had introduced a plan to stagger bus routes, with students at the high school starting earlier and the elementary school at a later time. McLaughlin said that the administration had revised the plan to adjust the high school time to 7:45 and the Schick Elementary starting time to 8:30. Parents would be permitted to drop children off at 7:45. McLaughlin said that the morning breakfast program will be run and the district will also offer remediation to students who need help.

The change to a staggered schedule was motivated by a shortage of bus drivers in the district.

The administration is hoping to have the changes in the bus routes in place before the end of the school year so that parents can make arrangements for child care.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 12 at the district board room, 1605 Four Mile Drive.

Because it is in person, seating is limited.

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